When playing CS:GO recently one of the most common things in office is to well, shoot the office area containing the computers, monitors etc.

However I then thought, Can I replicate this?

By replicate in this sense I mean the rough specification to what would be correct for the time period of the parts we can find, the base and brand of some accessories may not be exact.

While very low resolution textures some basic computing knowledge helps us narrow down some parts to begin with based on looking at it in game.

To begin with I started a test session with bots only and got a computer open,

Screenshot-from-2018-09-30-17-19-11-1

Base unit

In this we can roughly see a graphics card and the motherboard, lets focus on the main tower first and zoom it in.

Screenshot-from-2018-09-30-17-19-11-2

From this we can tell it has two hard drives and a CD / DVD Drive (Likely IDE).

The motherboard has 2 memory sticks populated with support for up to 4. We can see some of the most important parts of the motherboard, it has 2 IDE Sockets, what looks like a floppy connector and primarily is a VIA Chipset.

Screenshot-from-2018-09-30-17-19-32-2

Popping the heatsink off (thanks valve for making this possible) we can see that its a PGA socket and not an LGA, meaning this could be either an AMD machine or possibly an Socket 478 machine.

Finally we can see the motherboard has 5 PCI Sockets and an AGP. ruling out most machines newer than AM2+ and older than slot CPUs.

I then started seraching by simply searching for Via motherboards as this would be the easiest way to start.

Early on in my search it seemed likely that this was an asus motherboard primarily by the blue heatsink in the middle as during the beginnings of my search I found two motherboards with blue heatsinks almost identical.

asus_m2v

and then upon searching for asus via motherboards I found this!

board_full

And I'm fairly confident it's the board, the power connectors are in the right places, it has the right amount of memory slots and colours for them, the right amount of PCI ports and the parralel port looks right too.

This turned out to be an Asus ASUS A8V Deluxe, a top of the line motherboard for AMD Processors Socket 939 capable to handle Athlon 64 and even 64X2s.

We can find out via the socket type that it's got 4 slots of DDR allowing for around 4GB Capacity and this board actually does have 2-4 sata ports.

Graphics card

I suspect the graphics card is going to be harder, however we can tell some things from it.

gpu

  • It's AGP
  • It has active cooling
  • The white piece at the back could be for a 4 Pin molex extra power
  • The ports look like VGA, Svideo and DVI
  • Red could indicate ATI

And after shortly searching AGP ATI Graphics cards I found this which I'm certain is almost identical to the one pictured!

ATI Radeon 9800 PRO

r9800pro-scan-front-with-cooler

It has the VGA, S-video and DVI in the correct order, the white socket at the back for extra power, the memory chips are square how they look in the picture and most distinctively the heat sink is more of a diamond shape than a square. I'd say this is exact!

So will I make it?

At the moment likely not, unfortunately the motherboard isn't easily available so it'll likely be something I look out for rather than pay £90 for now. However bits like getting DDR and the CPU I'll likely do over time.

The GPU is also going for over £100 on eBay because as well as it being old it was also popular in macs, meaning its more expensive as for some reason if it was ever in a mac a computer component is always worth more.

Finally the CPU is around £15-30

One with similar specifications on a budget? Maybe.